Premier John Horgan looks on as hundreds of people, many youth who have aged out of foster care, rallied at the steps of the BC Legislature in April 2018 to ask for better support for youth aging out of care. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

800 former youth in care are using B.C.’s free post-secondary tuition program

Program launched in 2017 for students up to the age of 26 to attend post-secondary institutions

More than 800 young people who were formerly in government care are now accessing the province’s post-secondary tuition waivers.

The program, launched in 2017, allows young people up to the age of 26 who had aged out of care to attend 25 public post-secondary schools, with costs covered by the government. It’s has since added foundation and apprenticeship training programs, including 10 union-based programs.

So far, 806 students have taken advantage of the support, the province announced Tuesday. They are studying in institutiohns all over B.C. in areas such as social work, academic arts, nursing, trades, and graphic design.

The three schools with the most students using the funds are Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, Camosun College in Victoria, and the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.

READ MORE: B.C. increases funding, age limit for youth aging out of government care

Every year, 750 to 1,000 youth age out of care in B.C.

A study by the B.C. Coroners Service found that young people leaving government care were five times more likely to die than those in the general population, often after struggling with mental health and addiction problems.

RELATED: Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ B.C. youth advocate says

RELATED: Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, watchdog says


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